Swiss Bird Index®
Birds are found in a wide variety of natural habitats but very often have specific habitat requirements. Breeding bird populations are therefore a valuable indicator of the state of biodiversity in general. In the short term, population trend is dependent on weather conditions and other random fluctuations. By observing long-term trends, conclusions can be drawn about the success of species conservation measures, changes in habitats and harmful impacts.
The trend over the last 30 years shows an increase on average for all bird species that breed regularly in Switzerland as well as for woodland species and those species that benefit from climate change. In woodland areas, population trends are increasing for bird species that depend on deadwood and old-growth stands (especially woodpeckers). In contrast, the proportion of red-listed breeding bird species is still around 40%.
The assessment refers only to changes concerning Red List species as these are more likely to become extinct and measures for their conservation are therefore a priority.
More information about the state of Birds in Switzerland.
The indicator is similar to the “Common Bird Index” of the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring (PECBM). However the two indices differ in relation the number and selection of the bird species considered.
The Swiss Bird Index® is calculated by the Swiss Ornithological Institute Sempach. It provides regular information about changes in the populations of breeding bird species regularly found in Switzerland. These are species which have bred in Switzerland in at least nine of ten consecutive years since 1990 (excluding species that have been newly introduced and those which have escaped from captivity). The population in the base year 1990 was set to the index value of 100. The method was updated in 2020, and the data since 1990 was recalculated on this basis.
The index includes the changing populations of all bird species that breed regularly in Switzerland and those featuring on the Red List. The Swiss Bird Index® is one of the key indicators used by the Swiss Confederation to monitor sustainable development (MONET).
|Targeted trend||Initial value||Final value||Variation in %||Observed trend||Assessment|
|Growth||Average 1990-1992||Average 2019-2021||-1.22%||Stabilisation||unsatisfactory|
|Basis: Red List (44 species)|